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Author Topic: odd behavior in my single koi  (Read 1215 times)
jessiefish
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odd behavior in my single koi
« on: March 11, 2011, 11:00:50 AM »

I have a koi fish in a 10 gallon tank.  Yesterday I changed 75% of his water because pH was low, nitrates were climbing and the fish was swimming eratically, swimming to the top, in what looked like gasping for air.  I took a sample of the water and the pH and hardness were low.  Went to the pet shop and bought pH increaser, bacterial and fungal medication.  I added pH increase to the tank last night and this morning the pH has not changed much.  I add the bacterial and fungal solution this morning because he is now trying to jump out of the tank and swims with the head in a downward position between 45 and 90 degrees at the bottom of the tank.  There is no signs of ick, and no other physical changes in appearance, just in behavior.  I have had the fish for over a year and this is definately new behavior.  pH today is 6, hardness is around 30, alkalinity is around 30, every thing else is within normal range.  If anyone could help, it would be appreciated.  How fast can I increase pH?  How do I increase hardness?  How do I increase alkalinity?  Should I add aquarium salt?  I need some guidance urgently.

Jessiefish
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Summer Time
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 05:03:09 PM »

This sounds like symptoms of ammonia or nitrite poisoning. Did you test those?
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jessiefish
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 06:54:29 PM »

How could that happen when the nitrite and ammonia levels are all in normal limits?

jess
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Summer Time
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 08:34:19 PM »

never mind, sorry
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nabi
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 09:06:30 PM »

Well , someone should have advised you at the petshop that koi require a minimum of around 300 gallons per fish.  Most people do not have the space in their homes or a way to set up such a large aquarium, so that's the main reason these fish are mainly kept in ponds.  Your pH is probably crashing too fast , because your water volume is too small to be able to keep up with the wastes produced by the koi.  You can use baking soda to raise the pH, but not more than .5 in a 24 hour period.  Remember that these koi can grow to several feet in length , which is longer than your 10 gallon aquarium.
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jessiefish
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 10:00:17 PM »

First, I would like to say the first couple of posts were my mom trying to help me and now this is actually me. I know more about what is going on so if you have ANY ideas or questions I will be glad to hear/answer them.

Second, I would like to apologize in advance for this long butt post. Tongue

--Well, I got him at a fair last year and he's my first fish, so I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. haha. I know he has to be in a  pond, but he is still a baby (under 10 inches.) he fits nicely in his aquarium and he is the only fish I have so I don't really have an over crowding problem. He will eventually go in a pond, I promise. I just have to build one first and I am moving this summer, so it would be pointless to build it now. I'll just build one at my house that I am purchasing so my parents aren't stuck with a fish they don't want. To be honest I am surprised he survived this long being from a fair and all. I would really like to keep him longer. He's the only pet I've ever had that actually likes to dance with me when I play my music. Grin Anyways, I wonder if his problem isn't swim bladder since he seems to have a buoyancy problem. His nose has turned a little red, but I suspect that is because he gets aggravated and runs into everything every 2-4 hours or so. We have well water and we just turned our water softener back on(the pipes freeze in the winter according to my dad) So, I was wondering if that could be why my ph won't stabilize and if that is the case, how do I harden the water? My fish has also started convulsing his head back and forth like he is having a seizure? or something is making him very uncomfortable.. I put in an all in one treatment from lifeguard, in case it was a gill problem and I added a little amount of aquarium salt to hopefully calm him down a bit so he quits hurting himself.(Even though the pet store is who told me to use it I feel weird about giving a freshwater fish salt so I only out half of what was recommended in his tank.) But I can also see how being constipated or having a swim bladder infection can cause this behavior. It's no fun to be constipated. :/ I cant figure out if he is getting better or worse. One minute he seems fine, but then he cant position himself right and then he gets angry and runs into everything. He also has started staying completely still, and position himself, as best he can, at the bottom of the tank. A couple of times he has scared me because his fins go to his side and his breathing significantly slows down. He does this for a few minutes and then starts the cycle all over again. I am getting so frustrated because I don't know how to help him, I don't want him severely hurting himself, and I don't know how much time I have to help him. 
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jessiefish
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 10:00:51 PM »

I also want to say thank you to every one who is helping me with this problem. And ammonia/ nitrate poisoning was my first guess and even though his nitrates seem fine I'm not sure if they were that way a week ago when I cleaned his tank out. (I have recently learned that you are not suppose to clean the tank out, but at the same time I have been doing it this way for a year with no complications.) I didn't have test strips. I had a meter thingy, but it recently went bad. If it is some sort of poisoning how would I fix that? I
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nabi
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 10:35:42 PM »

Summertime is right. There's probably something wrong with your water parameters.  Water quality is often the most important factor.  I'm not sure if you are familiar with cycling a tank.  Since you cleaned out the tank completely, you probably got rid of the beneficial bacteria that kept the fish alive.  I suggest you bring your water to a pet store and have them test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.  If you have test kit already , please post the results here so we can see.  If you need to buy a test kit, i suggest the AP freshwater master test kit.
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jessiefish
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 10:45:31 PM »

I took the water to the pet store yesterday. They said the only things off were ph and hardness. they even did an ammonia test. I don't have an ammonia test with me at the moment. I can tell you the nitrates are a little difficult to read. they are either zero or just below 20ppm which is the next level up on the kit. the nitrites are definitely zero.  the ph is around 6.0 which is slightly better than yesterday. the carbon hardness has gone up from 40 to 80 since I added the salt. the general hardness keeps staying around 30.
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jessiefish
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 10:57:13 PM »

When I clean the tank out, I don't was anything away, and I definitely don't use soap. I just give everything a good rinsing in cold water and fill it up with the same temp water as before and put aqua safe in it. I know there is still bacteria in the water that is beneficial to the fish, but another concern I have is I have read about unhealthy bacteria getting trapped in the gravel and making the fish sick when it gets stirred. so I guess my logic was to clean the gravel and change the water.. :/ but like I said. If I have been doing it this way for a year why is he having problems now?
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Summer Time
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2011, 02:12:12 AM »

You should not be using water from a water softener.

Goldfish also prefer a higher ph and hardness than what you have, and it sounds like you're working on that.

A fish can live with a tank that's dumped and cleaned, but he will not be as healthy.  The water quality will decline between cleanings and can damage gills and organs, etc.  He may still live, but is getting more injured as time goes on.

He will be happy in the pond.

There is a sticky at the top of the page to fill out, which helps us better help you.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 02:14:52 AM by Summer Time » Logged
fantailer
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2011, 07:04:26 AM »

Get a 50 to a 100 gallon tank.
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jessiefish
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2011, 09:22:22 AM »

I put him upstairs this morning and I notice he has red spots at the base of his fins and a few red blood vessel looking streaks in his fins. Maybe one to two streaks per fin at most. he still is acting very unhappy and all of his water is stable except ph is still low despite my efforts. I don't have anything other than water softener water. How do I harden it up? I have a vitamin/mineral pyramid containing vitamin c, but I'm not sure if it is a good idea to give it to him. his anus is really bloated and he won't eat or stay up right. he keeps trying to jump out of his tank and succeed once this morning. luckily, he landed on a pillow so there is no brokenness. The only other option I feel I have left is to go to the store and buy medication, but which one? is there any meds that can help? how long before i see the effects of the all in one treatment.
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Summer Time
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2011, 10:30:40 AM »

The redness could be septicemea. I was thinking that earlier when you mentioned that his mouth was red. I like the Mardel meds, but I wouldn't use Coppersafe.

Can you buy some bottled water for now? Even better would be if you have a spigot outside that you can get water from, it might not be going thru the softener. Or maybe you can ask your dad to turn off the softener until you move.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 10:57:58 AM by Summer Time » Logged
jessiefish
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2011, 08:54:49 PM »

Yea, I have had him on lifeguard all in one treatment. It says it treats septicemia, but I'm not sure if it will work fast enough. He has been on it for two days now and he is only getting worse. He has started to lay on his side. earlier today he had a spasm and leaked a bunch of white gross stuff out of his swollen anus area.
he just started doing it again while i wrote this post. his anus is still swollen.I have bought a water heater to get the temp up so the meds work better. right now it is at 68 ish degrees. I also bought an air pump to add extra oxygen in the water in hopes of speeding up his recovery. he seemed relieved and hung around it for a while before he got worse. I don't understand how this disease could have progressed so fast when I cleaned his water and put him on antibiotics when I first suspected a problem. I feel so bad for him. Is recovery still possible? If so any ideas on how long? Does anybody have any other ideas on what I should do to help him?
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jessiefish
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2011, 08:55:57 PM »

I can buy bottled water, but is that ok to use?
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jessiefish
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2011, 08:36:02 AM »

I just discovered that the lifeguard all in one treatment is not antibiotcs! Is it too late to get antibiotics in him? Can I mix antibiotics with the lifeguard all in one treatment. the ingredients are 1-chloro-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl -4-imiazolidinone.
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Summer Time
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2011, 09:40:56 AM »

I don't have any experience with Lifeguard.

Bottled water isn't the best water for goldfish, but is 1000 time better than softened water. It would be ok to use bottled water short-term when necessary. Make sure they get extra minerals, etc. If you use it, don't use distilled water, use drinking water and still put in your water conditioner.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 09:44:53 AM by Summer Time » Logged
jessiefish
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2011, 11:48:16 AM »

Alright, the people at pet smart said I can use the antibiotics with the lifeguard stuff, so I started him on triple sulfate antibiotics today. (My mom is a nurse and she said it is not penicillin, but it basically like penicillin?) I can already see a change, I'm not sure if it is good or bad, but instead of just lying there he seems to be "trying" to swim more. He is still laying on the bottom and on his side unable to right himself, but he seems more lively than he was yesterday. Also, My mom made a good point the other day. She said when I first got the fish from the fair (in July) we put him in water softened water and he was fine. We only turn the conditioner off for the months of November through the end of February. I bought an air stone and it seems to have brought the ph up to around normalish (around 6.5) it is still a little low, but at least it is within safer ranges now. Anyways, if I have to get him bottled water to get him better I will definitely go buy some! Smiley But, I was wondering why it didn't seem to bother him when we originally had the conditioner on, when we turned the water conditioner off, but now it is back on again I am having problems? Huh 
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jessiefish
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2011, 10:59:38 PM »

Well, his red veins and the redness in his nose went away, but despite my best efforts and his strong spirit. The disease won the battle at 9:15pm tonight. Cry R.I.P. Calico. <3 Cry
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Summer Time
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Re: odd behavior in my single koi
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2011, 11:26:46 PM »

Poor sweetie. Sorry to hear that.

I haven't use softened water, but if you look it up on the internet, there's a lot of articles against it, and it makes sense.
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